Oklahoma City a leader in housing recovery, The Wall Street Journal reports

“Home prices have zipped back into record territory in a handful of American cities, a milestone that comes seven years after the housing bust ravaged the market and the broader economy,” the paper reports.
by Richard Mize Modified: January 4, 2014 at 10:00 am •  Published: January 4, 2014

Not every mention that Oklahoma City gets on every “Best of” list or “national” website deserves acknowledging, but five paragraphs of good news in a cover story in The Wall Street Journal is still worth repeating in the hometown paper.

“Home Prices Back at Peaks in Some Areas,” the Page 1A headline said Monday.

The story alerts the rest of the country to the solid recovery here since the slowdown, which bottomed out in 2009 as most of the nation was still reeling from the first-ever national housing market bust — national, but not uniform.

We missed the worst of it, which almost everybody here knows. Now — and this might come as a surprise — home values here are up more than 13 percent from the pre-bust 2007 high, according to the newspaper's analysis of data from Zillow.com.

All is not rosy, despite the general housing recovery going on just about everywhere. “Recovery” doesn't yet mean “recovered” in 1,500 cities where prices are still below their previous high, the Journal reported.

But Oklahoma City, among others, is fully recovered. Here's our part of the story by reporter Nick Timiraos:

To find some of the nation's steadiest housing markets, head to the Great Plains and Texas, which have enjoyed strong job and population growth tied to the oil, mineral and gas industries.

“We had no bubble here, so there was really no reason for prices to drop,” said Keith Taggart, a real estate agent in Mustang, Okla., and president of the Oklahoma City Metro Association of Realtors. Nearly 2,000 people relocate to the area every month, creating demand for homes, he said. At the same time, there's plenty of land to develop, so prices don't rise in “any outrageous way,” Mr. Taggart said.

by Richard Mize
Real Estate Editor
Real estate editor Richard Mize has edited The Oklahoman's weekly residential real estate section and covered housing, commercial real estate, construction, development, finance and related business since 1999. From 1989 to 1999, he worked...
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